Who expected this one to go right down to the wire after the mid-innings break?
It’s the Sydney Thunder who eventually secure a win by three wickets and advance into the eliminator. Batting first, Melbourne Stars only managed to compile a meagre total of 119/7 from 20 overs. Joel Clarke 4 (4), Campbell Kellaway 13 (12) and Marcus Stoinis 8 (7) were dismissed cheaply, while Tom Rogers 35 (36) and Hilton Cartwright (36) did try to provide some stability out there in the middle.
However, spells of 3/24 by Usman Qadir, 2/19 by Chris Green and 1/13 by Gurinder Sandhu catapulted the chances for Thunder to get the win.
It seemed that the Thunder batters would pave their way to a comfortable win, but that wasn’t to be, as the Melbourne Stars fought back in a terrific manner. Luke Wood got the better of the dangerous David Warner 2 (3), while Jason Sangha 10 (11) was stumped in Adam Zampa’s first over.
Matthew Gilkes 20 (27) was dismissed by Beau Webster as the score read 41-3 in 9 overs. Davies 8 (17) also didn't have much to offer, and it was soon 49-4. But it was a crucial 28 (18) by Daniel Sams that turned the tide back in favour of Sydney Thunder.
Sams struck three boundaries and a six to give his side the edge. A 16-run stand right towards the end by Chris Green 6 (7)* and Nathan McAndrew 12 (10)* got Sydney Thunder the all-important win in the penultimate over.
Although the Melbourne Stars endured yet another defeat, they will be proud of their bowling performance that was put in today. Adam Zampa led by example through his marvellous spell of 3/26 in four overs. Luke Wood, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Beau Webster chipped in with a wicket apiece.